Tokoname Dark Brown & Red Teapot #2 (pine cones)


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Made in Tokoname, Japan
Unglazed clay
Craftsman: Gyokudo   (1936 – 2012)
Infuser: Clay ball-strainer
Packaging: Paper box
Height: 2.75″
Functional capacity: 6 oz / 177 ml


Tokoname has been a center of ceramic production since the 12th century and is, along with the kilns at Seto, Shigaraki, Echizen, Tanba, and Bizen, one of the oldest pottery production sites in Japan. Fortunately for those of us who are clay collectors, many pottery artisans in Tokoname have been honing their skills from a young age, and have now matured into their role as a clay master.


Tokoname clay is instantly recognizable for its thin body and smooth surfaces, as well as the hardness of the clay. Today, some artists are blending-in a small proportion of other ‘secret ingredient’ clay from protected sources, or adding grit to the clay to achieve a different appearance in some of their teaware. But all of these teawares resonate as Tokoname because of the spirit of the potters and that the overall style of Tokoname prevails.


img-more_tok_clean Learn more about Tokoname clay teapots

It has been several years since we have had the pleasure to procure any of the splendid teapots by Tokoname artist Gyokudo. Sadly, Gyokudo passed away in 2012 and all of his teapots disappeared from the marketplace.

Just recently we have been offered some of his last teapots available – and we are thrilled. The precision of his work is unparalleled. The surfaces of the teapots are burnished to a very high polish and the clay in the teapots has been worked to a very fine and elegant thin-ness. Nearly all of his teapots that we have sold or have seen have had his designs worked thru and around a series of panels that define the basic teapot shape and appearance.

In this teapot Gyokudo scraped away the dark brown surface of the clay to reveal the original red color of the clay beneath. This teapot was fired in his kiln at least twice in both oxidation and reduction conditions which accounts for this duality of color. He added details to the background of the pine cones which provides a textured visual contrast to the smooth areas of the teapot.

Gokudo was a master of contrasting styles and justaposing textures, which he executed with precision and clarity.

He was a nationally acclaimed potter and those teawares collectors fortunate to own one of his teapots are very lucky indeed.

Please Note:
This is a handmade item – slight variations in the painting, colors, tooling, patterning and kiln effects of Chinese and Japanese tea wares are to be expected. We have carefully photographed this item as best as possible – please be aware that different device screens can render colors and subtle tones slightly differently.

Want to know more?   How to Clean a Tokoname Teapot    How We Determine the Size & Capacity of our Teawares